Second half Hannah Tyrell penalty helped Dublin secure ninth consecutive Leinster SFC after titanic battle with Meath
By Daire Walsh
Hannah Tyrrell scored a second half penalty at Croke Park where Dublin secured a ninth consecutive TG4 Leinster SFC title with a narrow triumph over reigning All-Ireland champions Meath.
Having found themselves four points adrift at the break, a superb scoring blitz at the start of the second half put the Royal County in a strong position to claim their first provincial crown since 2000. However, Dublin held firm and Tyrrell’s calm finish propelled her side towards a 16th Leinster crown.
After a cagey start, Nicole Owens – a late addition to Dublin’s starting line-up – opened the scoring with a ninth-minute point. Meath’s defensive set-up ensured that clear-cut scoring opportunities were initially at a premium for their opponents, but Eamonn Murray’s team also took a while to settle.
On the other hand, Dublin were growing in confidence and moved four points in front courtesy of a brace from St Sylvester’s ace Kate Sullivan and another courtesy of the ever-influential Lyndsey Davey.
It took Meath all of 29 minutes to get up and running but even though Aoibheann Leahy found the target from close-range, Tyrrell’s first point of the day gave Dublin a commanding 0-5 to 0-1 cushion into the interval.
Yet the game was dramatically turned on its head upon the resumption as Meath registered 1-2 without reply to edge themselves into the ascendancy.
Straight from the throw-in, 2021 TG4 Footballer of the Year, Vikki Wall played the ball into her Dunboyne clubmate Emma Duggan for a fine point from play.
Duggan had a subsequent effort that rebounded off the post but midfielder Orlagh Lally was on hand to claim the rebound and fire beyond the reach of Ciara Trant.
A routine Stacey Grimes free suddenly presented Meath with a slender advantage in the 36th minute and while Dublin eventually responded with another Tyrrell point, a Wall score at the end of a trademark lung-bursting run kept the Royals ahead inside the final-quarter.
The pendulum swung back in Dublin’s favour on 47 minutes, however, when Tyrrell coolly slotted a penalty past All-Star goalkeeper Monica McGuirk.
Meath’s Maire O’Shaughnessy was sin-binned for a foot block on Owens in the lead-up to this score, but a second free by Grimes left the gap at a bare minimum upon her return.
Wall was also yellow carded in a frantic finale, though, and with Niamh Hetherton adding her name to the scoresheet, it was Dublin who prevailed.
14. Hannah Tyrrell 1-02 (1-0 pen)
10. Kate Sullivan 0-02
23. Nicole Owens 0-01
13. Lyndsey Davey 0-01
15. Niamh Hetherton 0-01
9. Orlagh Lally 1-00
14. Stacey Grimes 0-02 (2f)
12. Aoibheann Leahy 0-01
11. Emma Duggan 0-01
13. Vikki Wall 0-01
1. Ciara Trant
2. Jess Tobin
3. Leah Caffrey
4. Martha Byrne
5. Aoife Kane
6. Sinead Goldrick
7. Orlagh Nolan
8. Jennifer Dunne
9. Kate McDaid
10. Kate Sullivan
11. Caoimhe O’Connor
12. Sinead Wylde
13. Lyndsey Davey
14. Hannah Tyrrell
23. Nicole Owens
15. Niamh Hetherton for 12. Sinead Wylde (HT)
18. Siobhan Killeen for 10. Kate Sullivan (38)
19. Lauren Magee for 7. Orlagh Nolan (43)
25. Hannah Leahy for 5. Aoife Kane (69)
1. Monica McGuirk
2. Shauna Ennis
3. Mary Kate Lynch
4. Orlaith Duff
5. Niamh Gallogly
6. Emma Troy
7. Aoibhín Cleary
8. Máire O’Shaughnessy
9. Orlagh Lally
10. Megan Thynne
11. Emma Duggan
12. Aoibheann Leahy
13. Vikki Wall
14. Stacey Grimes
15. Niamh O’Sullivan
22. Orla Byrne for 12. Aoibheann Leahy (43)
29. Kelsey Nesbitt for 5. Niamh Gallogly (55)
20. Ciara Smyth for 9. Orlagh Lally (59)